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Lexie Knauer

By Lexie Knauer

Senior Product Marketing Manager at Brightcove

DRM 101

Brightcove News

DRM encryption technology plays a major role in today’s media world. If you’re creating, delivering, and distributing content online, you need to ensure you have the necessary protection in place. Here’s an overview of what DRM is and how it works.

What is DRM?

DRM, which stands for Digital Rights Management, is a systematic approach to preventing unauthorized use and piracy of digital media. This mechanism prevents users from copying, redistributing, or converting content in a way that is not explicitly authorized by the content provider. As more and more premium content is being delivered via the internet, DRM is becoming a standard requirement for many video streaming platforms.

How does DRM work?

DRM confirms that video content is encrypted and packaged properly during the storage and transmittal processes. The main goal here is to ensure that only authorized devices and users can play the video back. When the necessary DRM schemes are in place, the video player will only decrypt the content if it determines the device and user have the proper authorization.

Which DRM system should I consider?

There are a variety of different DRM systems available to protect your video content. But when it comes to supporting the most popular devices, browsers, and set-top boxes, you really only need to consider The Big Three: Google’s Widevine, Apple’s FairPlay, and Microsoft’s PlayReady.

When should I be using DRM?

There are a variety of different scenarios in which you should be leveraging DRM to protect your digital media assets. In particular, you should have a DRM system in place when you are:

  • Delivering any subscription-based, authenticated business model

  • Licensing other content (particularly OTT video assets)

  • Creating your own content

  • Using live environments (this will help to ensure your content doesn’t get shared on social without your consent!)

  • Concerned your content will be pirated

Want to learn more? Check out our previous DRM post for additional details on this mechanism and how it works.

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